Earth Day: Our Collective Impact
- April 18, 2022
Environmental leader Robert Swan famously said, “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” With Earth Day coming up on April 22, it seems appropriate to share some of the things NTT DATA is doing—and easy things we can all do—to help save the planet.
NTT DATA’s commitment
NTT DATA has a broad view of sustainability that encompasses people, the planet and prosperity. In addition to environmental issues, we are also addressing social and economic issues as part of a comprehensive effort to create a sustainable future for all.
We’ve committed to a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2040. We also created the Climate Action Committee to contribute to carbon neutrality for clients and supply chains. And we’re making important strides in advancing diversity, equity and inclusion for our team members, their families, and society.
It takes all of us
Due to the nature of our lifestyles, we’re using up the Earth’s natural resources every day. The question is: How much of a drain are we on our environment, and what can we do to minimize it? With NTT DATA’s 140,000 team members, we have the scale and power to make a real impact on a global scale if we each make some small changes in our daily lives to help protect the Earth and the steps we’re taking as a company.
I love a good alliteration, so let’s focus on the four Ps: Power, Plastic, Paper, and Pesticides.
Controlling the temperature of our water and our homes is the biggest energy drain for many households (if you have central air and heat, I’m looking at you).
- Water heaters account for about 12% of your power bill. Consider taking warm showers instead of hot (or fewer showers if possible).
- Wash your laundry in cold water. If you don’t air-dry your clothes, use dryer balls instead of dryer sheets to speed up the drying time.
- Adjust your air conditioner or heater just one degree. The Earth and your bank account will thank you.
- Don’t wait for Earth Hour to turn off the lights. How about a family dinner by candlelight or an evening stroll? Or—wild idea here—go to sleep an hour earlier!
In case you haven’t heard, plastics are filling our landfills, oceans and rivers. Only 8% of plastics are recycled, but even with the best intentions to recycle, plastic can never actually go away—it can only break into smaller and smaller pieces that contaminate our soils and water and harm entire ecosystems and our health.
- First, take note of all the plastic items you use in a week. You might be surprised. Plastic bags and bottles are the worst pollution offenders, but also consider your use of to-go meals, snack wrappers, yogurt cups, travel-size toiletries, etc. Then focus on reducing just one or two of those items to start.
- Don’t buy water. Carry reusable water bottles instead. (And do you really need a straw?)
- Put leftovers in reusable containers instead of plastic storage bags.
- Bring your own bags to the grocery store or if you’re not buying much, tell the cashier you don’t need a bag.
- Buy in bulk for less packaging, and if you can, opt for items that don’t use plastic packaging.
My favorite hack for paper reduction is about the type of paper I use. My family has switched (for the most part—we’re not perfect) to bamboo or recycled paper towels and toilet paper. Trees take about 20 years to grow for harvesting. Bamboo paper is made of fast-growing bamboo shoots that only take about three months to mature. Bonus: it doesn’t come in a plastic wrapper! Look for FSC-accredited products to ensure they’re produced in an environmentally friendly way.
- Use reusable cloths for napkins and cleaning rags. If you repurpose old clothes for rags, you’re going further to reduce waste.
- Leave those trees alone so they can do their job absorbing carbon and providing habitats.
I used to believe that choosing organic foods was just about my personal health choices. It’s so much bigger than that. Pesticides make the production of crops more efficient, but the chemicals frequently reach unintended targets and can wreak havoc on pollinators, cause long-term contamination of soil, and seep into our water to damage ecosystems and our health.
- If you can, opt for organic produce, especially if you’re buying one of the “Dirty Dozen.”
- Check out a farmers’ market. Local produce is more likely to be grown organically. Or grow your own herbs in a small kitchen garden. You’ll also create a secondary benefit of reducing the burden on the supply chain and transportation.
- Look for non-toxic insect control for your home (or get a cat … I’m only partly kidding).
Addressing climate change can feel daunting, but if each of us could incorporate just one of the four Ps into our daily lives, we would start to take responsibility for the planet's survival, and our team could make a profound difference on a global scale